HC Deb 17 December 1962 vol 669 cc887-8
64. Mr. N. Pannell

asked the Minister of Labour how many vouchers he has issued to Commonwealth immigrants since 1st July, 1962; and how many of these were to persons without special skills or jobs to go to.

Mr. Whitelaw

There were 20,575 up to 7th December, of which 14,129 were for persons without special skills or jobs to go to. The figures for the period since the first vouchers were issued in May are 23,030 and 15,561. Of the total number of people to whom vouchers have been issued, about 4,000 have entered the country.

Mr. Pannell

In view of the increasing unemployment figures, does not my hon. Friend consider that has right hon. Friend should be more circumspect in issuing vouchers to immigrants without skills or jobs to go to?

Mr. Whitelaw

I think my hon. Friend will appreciate that unemployment amongst Commonwealth immigrants in that period has, in fact, fallen slightly.

Mr. Prentice

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that in recent months there has been a sharp drop in the number of Commonwealth immigrants; and that in October the number of these people leaving the country exceeded those coming in to it? Does not that show that unemployment here is having an effect on this immigration; and prove that we on this side were right when we said that the Measure was not necessary?

Mr. Whitelaw

I would accept the hon. Gentleman's first two points, but certainly not the last one.

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